Chelsea 1-1 Everton: Branthwaite delivers fresh title blow for the Blues after Pickford heroics

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  • Jarrad Branthwaite
    English association football player (born 2002)
  • Jordan Pickford
    Jordan Pickford
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  • Reece James
    Reece James
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  • Anthony Gordon
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 (AFP via Getty Images)
(AFP via Getty Images)

Chelsea dropped points at home in the Premier League once again as Jarrad Branthwaite scored a late equaliser for Everton in a 1-1 draw on Thursday night.

With both teams hit by injury problems and Covid-19 positive tests, neither named a full nine-man bench. Romelu Lukaku, Timo Werner and Kai Havertz were out for Chelsea with Everton missing Demarai Gray, Richarlison and Andros Townsend.

Yet the hosts were dominant from the off and forced Jordan Pickford into action a number of times during the first-half.

First it was Reece James who raced in behind, before placing his shot wide at the near-post. Then it was Mason Mount, played in by James with Ben Godfrey enduring a torrid start at left-back, bombing down the flank to ping an effort wide across the face of goal.

Jorginho found himself free at the near-post to tamely nudge an effort into the England goalkeeper’s gloves, appearing to not realise how good a position he was in. Pickford then brilliantly denied Mount with his right foot from close-range.

In the second-half, Ruben Loftus-Cheek failed to properly connect with a header from underneath the crossbar and Antonio Rudiger put one wide after James’ free-kick reached the defender at the far-post.

Everton grew in confidence and were punished when Abdoulaye Doucoure was caught on the ball, allowing James to roll in Mount for a finish at the near-post.

With 20 minutes to go, it felt like a second was the more likely outcome for a relieved home team and yet Branthwaite popped up to steer a fantastic Anthony Gordon free-kick into the far-post.

Pickford once again denied Chelsea with an athletic diving parry of Thiago Silva’s header to round off a huge display for the Toffees and under-pressure boss Rafa Benitez.

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